This says it all IMO

It’s not often I disagree with you John, but describing Putin as odious is like saying Saddam Hussein and his family were a little bit naughty.
He is a tyrannical murdering bastard that will stop at nothing to recreate the old USSR bit by bit, anyone that gets in his way either dies, disappears, gets tortured, imprisoned or poisoned, if he gets away with annexing the Ukraine he will country by country try to recreate the old Communist state.
I get you don’t like the US but defending Putin and his stance is just condoning how he goes about his business, to me he is indefensible.


I don’t quite see the relevance of the map given that all of the former Warsaw Pact countries joined NATO nearly 20 years ago, why in 2022 is Putin so bothered about Russian security when he’s accepted NATO’s presence ‘next door’ for so long?

If you look at the rhetoric coming from Moscow there is a fixation on Ukraine joining NATO when in reality there’s no chance of that happening anytime soon which is something Nikonov acknowledged in his World at One interview. Another thing that he said that was frankly laughable was about the stationing of 140K troops on the Ukrainian border, apparently these are ‘normal’ manoeuvres.

So Griffin36… Other than that, you quite like Putin then?



I don’t disagree with you about Putin at all. And I don’t dislike the US but I do dislike its foreign policy. Frankly, I think we all should. They have caused misery and mayhem on an unbelievable scale. Just the Iraq war alone is sufficient to condemn them. I lament that, but it’s the conclusion I have come to.

In terms of the Ukraine crisis, leaving aside the inflammatory bilge Johnson is spouting, I haven’t heard any rational explanation as to why Putin is on the warpath from Biden or anybody else in the US , and based on what I have seen in twenty years (and more) I don’t trust the US.


Cool, all they need to do is say that Tim, rather than stating that membership is enshrined in their constitution. This is, as I said earlier, Realpolitik time and not having a war for the sake of an impractical or unrealistic principal or goal.

And regarding the troops, what he said was that the 130,000 number was a Western number and we should look to our own propaganda for verification. He’s bloody right too. We all believed the weapons of mass destruction lies, didn’t we? If I remember correctly I think he said the manoeuvres in Belarus were “normal”, which I do accept is stretching things a bit.

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There’s a simple reason for that, there is no ‘rational’ explanation other than empire building or as the media put it - ‘increasing their sphere of influence’. :wink:

John, you’re quoting a member of the Russian parliament so hardly anyone independent or impartial.

Agreed Tim, but he sounded a lot more credible to me than Johnson or Biden.

I’m still wondering what this all has to do with Joe Biden.

Or trying to halt NATO’s creeping increase of their sphere of influence since 1997? The map says it all for me Tim. I don’t see why a new architecture for security would be a bad thing. The US has always been obsessed with those “damn Russkies”.

Me too. It hasn’t been explained at all. But Johnson is certainly acting like his poodle. What’s a war in Europe of it gets Partygate off the front pages.

Oceania was at war with East Asia. Oceania had always been at war with East Asia.

George Orwell was very insightful.

I suspect that he is dangerous in Russian eyes because he’s relatively rational and less easily manipulated than Trump, he has much more traditional American anti-Russian views and harks back to the era when Russia fell apart.

So I imagine this is Russia’s attempt to find a weak link in his armour to exploit, and if they could bring Ukraine back into the fold then it’s a double win.

Interesting comment.

What’s the point of Russia?

A century after the Revolution it’s still a basket case for most of the population and yet Putin wants to incorporate more territory (and people) into his Motherland. Interesting to compare how China (whatever its many faults) has leap-frogged over Russia in developing from a mediaeval, feudal economy into an effective modern state in half the time since the Russian Revolution.

Some years ago, I posted on this forum the question what does present day Russia produce that you’d actually like to own? Fifty years ago, I had a Russian Zenith SLR and would also have liked one of their Leica rip-offs, whereas today I’m happy with just my rabbit fur ushlanka hat, which is great when the temperature drops below zero, but on the other hand it was made in the former USSR and is really Stone Age technology.

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True, I don’t know enough about the Country to comment on their innovation or manufacturing skills except to point out the T34 tank and Sturmovic ground attack aircraft were, literally World beating.

IMHO the Chinese economic miracle has been largely driven by labour camp style manufacturing for US MNCs and the wholesale robbery and appropriation of Western technology. That was the leapfrog factor was and one has to admire the way that have scaled since.

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Until at least 1990 Russia produced some of the best educated people in the world. Maybe they still do (I have not kept up) Scientists, mathematicians, thinkers, doctors, astronauts, musicians and other arts. As did the DDR. The Communist system wasn’t all bad for everyone.


Russia produces effective miltary technology, albeit sometimes a bit clunky; but sometimes clunky and simple is good - eg early Nissan Patrols and Toyota Hi-luxes througnhout Africa and Asia. The most obvious one is the Kalashnikov, which has been copied everywhere.

However, about forty years ago I shared a (rented) maisonette in Little Venice with a chap who worked for Reuters and whose special skill was identifying national variations in Kalashnikovs and other popular weapons that appeared in photos coming into the bureau as this was an indication of where the guns came from. He told me that Israeli Kalashnikov copies had a bottle opener in the butt because the Russians used to use the gun’s sights as a bottle opener -which presumably could lead to mishaps - bang!

Imagine they’ve moved on a bit since then…

They were only strong in non-threatening forms of interpretive arts (music ballet etc after about 1930) whereas the creative arts which had flourished during the first decade of the Revolution disappeared under Stalinisation. From Malevich to Stravinsky phenomenally talented Russian artists who were a very important part of the early C20th European avant garde disappeared from view or fled to the US. The early Russian avant garde was so important, but that nation has now produced little of any significance for nearly a century.